The Supreme Court has sided with Monsanto in a patent case that I really wish it hadn’t. A farmer bought commodity seeds from a local co-op for a late season soybean crop. The seeds were contaminated with DNA from Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybeans which made them herbicide resistant. The farmer noticed this but used seeds from this new crop to plant subsequent late season soybean crops.
The farmer, Vernon Bowman, was a Monsanto customer. His early season soybean crop had been sowed with Monsanto seed he had purchased from Monsanto. He had agreed to Monsanto’s licensing agreement. He knew his late season crop was most likely tainted with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready DNA because it was resistant to Roundup yet he saved seeds from this crop to replant anyway. It’s hard to argue against Monsanto on this regardless of how much I’d like to.
What really troubles me about this is that the Obama Administration chose to get involved and support Monsanto when they could have just kept quiet. This on the heels of the Obama Administration signing into law the Monsanto Protection Act makes me wonder.
The Obama administration had told the Supreme Court in a filing that the justices should not concern themselves with the possibility that such rigid patent protectionism could undermine traditional farming techniques, where parts of one harvest are often used to produce the next. The administration said Congress “is better equipped than this court” to consider those concerns.
via Supreme Court Backs Patents on Seeds Self-Replicating Technology | Threat Level | Wired.com.
I have to admit, though. He’s right. Congress is better equipped to resolve this issue. I’d like to see a law passed making pollen in the wild free from any licensure. This might encourage Monsanto and other biotech seed producers to find ways to contain their pollen and prevent GMOs from contaminating our entire food supply.
Once again Dan has found an article that made me go, “hmmmm!” It seems that eating certain types of peppers can reduce one’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Why? Because those peppers are a member of the same plant family as tobacco and they are a dietary source of nicotine. It seems that tobacco users, and even people spending time around tobacco users have shown a decreased incidence of Parkinson’s disease.
The investigation of dietary sources of nicotine stems from the puzzling epidemiologic findings that repeatedly show that people who have regularly used tobacco have about half the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, explained Searles Nielsen. In 2012, she published a study that suggested that second-hand smoke also might reduce risk of the disease.
via Do peppers reduce risk of Parkinson’s? | UW Today.
Why does this pique my interest? A few weeks ago I wanted to compare the health effects of cigars vs. cigarettes. I know, both are deadly. There is no safe use of tobacco. Cigars are not a healthy alternative to cigarettes. Yada, yada, yada. But it goes beyond that, not one health expert will even bother to compare the health risks between the two. The line every source I found was essentially that tobacco has absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever.
Okay, it appears that tobacco does have at least one redeeming value. If you smoke you probably won’t be suffering from Parkinson’s disease as you suffer and die from cancer.
In a recent meeting with religious leaders on gun control the question came up about regulating violent video games and movies. Specifically what was talked about was taxing portrayals of violence to pay for support of victims of violence. the Vice President had this to say:
Biden told Graham that there was “no restriction on the ability to do that, there’s no legal reason why they couldn’t” tax violent images, Clark added.
via Biden: Gun control to wait for immigration – POLITICO.com.
So it isn’t just the second amendment they are wanting to weaken but the first amendment also.
Dan pointed to this article over on Flutterby and I had to share it. First, though, let me point out that I’m not adverse to people getting four year degrees, there are reasons beyond career goals for becoming as educated as possible. However, I am adverse to kids going for a four year degree right out of high school at all cost.
Let’s face it, not all high school graduates are ready for college and not all high school graduates require a degree for their chosen career path. For many people I think attaining a degree is best done over an extended period of time. If one is considering one’s earnings the article explains why.
In Virginia, graduates with technical degrees from community colleges make $20,000 more in the first year after college than do graduates in several fields who get bachelor’s degrees. Yet high-school seniors are regularly told that community colleges are for students who can’t hack it on a four-year campus.
via Are Bachelor’s Degrees Worth It? – WSJ.com.
Now I think one of the reasons for people with a two year degree earning so much more right out of school is that those people attending a community college are more likely to be part time students who are gaining several years of experience to go with the two year degree. The four year graduate has a more advanced degree with no experience.
Right before the Senate voted on gun control a couple of weeks ago support for stricter gun laws was at 58% according to cited polls. The Senate still couldn’t pass the legislation. How can this be with support for gun control rising like it is? Actually, support for gun control is falling:
That 58 percent figure offers a clue, because in 1990, it was 78 percent of Americans who felt that the laws governing the sale of firearms should be more strict. And that was before Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Newtown.
via Terry Newell: Learning From the Gun Control Loss.
And on top of that this article states that support for an all out ban on handguns stood at 60% back in 1959. Only 24% support an all out ban on handguns today. It seems there is a correlation here with a lack of trust in government.
I have to give it to Bloomberg, as much of his fortune as he invested in getting some gun control legislation passed and then the legislation failing you would think that his efforts would mostly go uncriticized by his publications. That would be wrong
Businessweek gives a fairly accurate review of why his efforts were in vain and they don’t give all the credit to the NRA. Those of you who are passionate about gun control need to understand that there is still a very large segment of US society whose opinion on gun rights and gun ownership makes the NRA look moderate by comparison.
There are 300 million firearms in private hands, and not even the most aggressive gun-control proponents are talking about confiscating a single one of them. A certain percentage of that vast arsenal is bound to leak into the black market via theft and illegal trafficking. That’s the considerable price we pay for the freedom to own firearms that’s protected by the Second Amendment. Many people, including, presumably, shoppers at GunsAmerica.com, believe that price is worth paying.
via Three More Reasons the NRA Wins on Gun Control – Businessweek.
You can call them fearful or whatever but that doesn’t change the fact that most of the gun owners who own multiple guns are calling their representative even more often than those supporting gun control.
Well, now this is a surprise. Everyone was thinking “white supremacist” group or “Mexican drug cartel.” Looks like it might have been much more closer to home with the conspiracy going no further than husband and wife.
The wife of a former judge was charged Wednesday with capital murder in connection with the slayings of a North Texas district attorney, his wife and an assistant district attorney, a law enforcement official said.
via Official: Wife of ex-judge charged with capital murder in connection with Texas DA slayings | StarTribune.com.
We need to just start thinking of them as just murderers and other criminals rather than some organized group and whether they are foreign or domestic does it really change the fact that two Texas DAs and one wife are dead?.
Deadly blasts near Boston Marathon; injured toll rising – CNN.com.
Right now I’m just praying no one else dies. My heart goes out to the injured and the family of the two fatalities. I’m also praying this has nothing to do with the fact that this Friday will mark twenty years since David Koresh and his group died in Waco or it being eighteen years this Friday since the Oklahoma City bombing.
John B. Judis is “for the strictest gun control—the kind in Great Britain that bans hand guns and automatic and semi-automatic weapons,” yet he and I are in perfect agreement that the kind of gun control being sought after by President Obama is a waste of time and will possibly hurt the Democratic Party’s chance of winning back the house in 2014.
As Judis points out, if gun violence were the worse of our problems in this country then the Democrats would be right in spending all this time attempting to address the problem of gun violence. But, gun violence, as bad as it may be, isn’t the worse problem facing our country, the economy is.
As Judis writes:
First of all—and I have made this argument before—turning around the country’s economy is more important to the country’s economic and political future. That goes for gun control’s prospects, too. If the Democrats want to pass tough gun control measures—or address even more far-reaching issues like climate change—they need to win back the House, and they can’t do that with a faltering economy. But I’d also suggest that on the substance of the matter, turning around the economy is as important to ending gun violence as passing the kind of compromise gun control legislation that the Senate might pass, which would leave one important kind of “straw purchases” of guns—and a key source for guns used in crimes—out of its purview.
via Gun Control: Barack Obamas Plan Is a Waste of Time | New Republic.
This is what I’ve been saying all along. Forget about gun violence, focus on the economy and gun violence rates will plummet.
This happened about three miles from my house in an area that I consider my neighborhood.
It’s a call that firefighters routinely respond to — a report of a medical emergency.
But when five firefighters answered one in a neighborhood north of Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said, they encountered an armed man who demanded that his cable and power be turned back on at the house, which was in foreclosure.
The firefighters were held for hours, with one firefighter allowed to leave to move a fire truck. But with police later fearing the remaining firefighters were in immediate danger, SWAT teams set off a stun blast and stormed the house, and the gunman was shot dead during an exchange of gunfire, authorities said.
via Ga. Firefighters ‘Relieved’ Hostage Ordeal Is Over – ABC News.
So Vice President Biden is upset and he’s trying to shame the Senators threatening to filibuster the gun legislation. I can’t see where these Senators really care what VP Biden says about them but there is one statement in that article I’d like to take issue with:
Biden insisted there would be no central registry and no way for the government to keep records on gun owners.
via Biden Slams Lawmakers Threatening to Filibuster Gun Control Bill – ABC News.
If there is no central registry, no way for the government to keep records on gun owners then in order to make any universal background check enforceable is to lay the burden of record keeping on the individual gun seller or require the states to keep the gun registry. Without some paper trail somewhere enforcing a background check on person to person private gun sales can’t happen. Let some individual who sells one gun in his entire life screw up on the paperwork and he faces the liability of being labeled a criminal.
Ron Johnson is out as CEO at J.C. Penney. Mr. Johnson, who took over the reins of the struggling retailer from Myron Ullman will be replaced by Mr. Ullman in the middle of the overhaul to the stores that Mr. Johnson started. This is happening because Penney’s sales have dropped by 25% under Mr. Johnson’s tenure.
Here’s something I don’t understand about Penney’s and Sear’s decline. Both are catalog stores that built a successful national brick and mortar business off the back of their mail order sales to the point that they dropped the catalog business. Now they are being eaten alive by online stores. It looks to me like they would have been in the perfect position to revert back to a mail order business using online catalogs. Why couldn’t they?
Nicolas Maduro, the acting president of Venezuela and hand picked successor to Manuel Ortega, is depending on the supernatural to win this upcoming election. He’s putting a curse on those who vote against him.
Wearing a local indigenous hat at a rally in Amazonas state, a largely jungle territory on the borders of Brazil and Colombia, Mr Maduro said: “If anyone among the people votes against Nicolas Maduro, he is voting against himself, and the curse of Maracapana is falling on him.”
via BBC News – Venezuelan candidate Maduro puts curse on rival voters.
Do you ever wonder why stereotypes are so difficult to get rid of? Some people are adamant about becoming those stereotypes.
Still think GMO corn and soy isn’t a health hazard? New studies show that GMO foods may be making you fat. A study out of Norway is giving us indication that these foods meant to feed the hungry masses may be creating hungry masses.
The study fed one group of cattle, pigs, salmon and rats GMO corn and soy while another group was fed non-GMO corn and soy. They also ran the test feeding two groups of rats GMO fed salmon and non-GMO fed salmon. The results?
Krogdahl notes: ” The ones who had fed on GM corn were slightly larger, they ate slightly more, their intestines had a different micro-structure, they were less able to digest proteins, and there were some changes to their immune system.” This fact that ‘they were less able to digest proteins’ has huge implications in the biochemistry of amino acids necessary for all life processes. This not only may relate to a rise in obesity, but to increases in many modern diseases. These diseases include diabetes, digestive disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, autism spectrum disorders ASD ADD, autoimmune diseases, sexual dysfunction, sterility, asthma, COPD and many more.
via Obesity, Corn, GMOs | Cornucopia Institute.
GMO foods are changing us. The problem is that it doesn’t seem it changes us for the better. Personally I would advise people to avoid GMO foods except for the fact that it is impossible to do so in the US because of food suppliers aren’t allowed to tell us what is GMO and what isn’t.